Total solar eclipse 2024

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After much anticipation, the solar eclipse of 2024 is finally upon us, offering a celestial spectacle that will sweep across North America.

Today, a total eclipse of the sun will be visible from southern Texas to northern Maine, captivating millions with a unique astronomical phenomenon.

The eclipse, where the moon’s shadow casts a narrow swath of land into darkness during the daytime, promises to be an extraordinary experience for those fortunate enough to witness it. However, the success of viewing largely depends on the weather conditions. Here are the latest updates and forecasts:

When and Where to Watch:
The complete eclipse will start in Mexico approximately at 11:07 a.m. PDT, then move into Texas by 1:27 p.m. CDT, and finally end in Maine at 3:35 p.m. EDT.

Even if you’re not within the direct path of totality, you may still catch a glimpse of the partial eclipse.

To determine the precise timing for your location, you can use USA TODAY’s database by entering your ZIP code for a customized viewing guide.

Weather Outlook:
Surprisingly, the most favorable viewing conditions are expected in northern New England, particularly in northern regions of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Clear skies have been reported in northern Maine, providing excellent viewing conditions. However, some uncertainty looms in northern Vermont due to an approaching deck of clouds.

In contrast, central and southern Texas are experiencing cloudy skies, with the possibility of severe weather later in the day. Poor viewing conditions are anticipated across South-Central Texas, while cities like Indianapolis and Cleveland are cautiously optimistic about clearer skies during the eclipse.

Community Gatherings and Enthusiasm:
Despite varying weather forecasts, enthusiasts across the path of totality are eagerly preparing for the event. In Kerrville, Texas, retired NASA engineer Jeff Stone remains hopeful amid cloudy conditions, hosting a watch party with optimism. Similarly, Coryell Community Church in Gatesville expects around 800 visitors for their “Eclipse at the Crosses” event, demonstrating widespread interest.

Unique Experiences:
In Eagle Pass, Texas, private planes crowded the airport tarmac as enthusiasts flew in from various locations to witness the eclipse. Meanwhile, in Mazatl├ín, Mexico, travelers like Elizabeth Rigdon and her son Kristopher Kirk were excitedly experiencing their first solar eclipse, underscoring the event’s international appeal.

Future Opportunities:
While the 2024 eclipse grips the attention of millions, astronomers are already looking ahead to future celestial events.

The upcoming total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous U.S. is scheduled for August 23, 2044, providing fewer chances for observation in comparison to the current event.

As the anticipation builds and communities prepare to witness the awe-inspiring event, enthusiasts and novices alike eagerly await the moment when the moon briefly obscures the sun, creating a moment of unity under the vast expanse of the cosmos.

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